Zoo’s horned lizard program shows success despite Uri, drought

It appears that neither intense cold nor extreme heat has deterred the success of a San Antonio Zoo effort to release Texas horned lizards bred in captivity into the wild.

The San Antonio Zoo began the program in 2017, raising dozens of Texas horned lizards — also known as “horny toads” — in captivity for three years before releasing 84 lizards onto a private ranch in Blanco County in 2020. Since then, the zoo has released roughly 200 more lizards into this area in an effort to combat their threatened species status.

While readying to release an additional 50 Wednesday, San Antonio zoologists were thrilled to find Texas horned lizard scat and other signs that the lizards previously released in the area are thriving — despite the freeze of 2021 and the intense heat and drought of this summer.

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